First Solar (NASDAQ: FSLR) is one of 13 public companies in the “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” industry, but how does it contrast to its rivals? We will compare First Solar to related businesses based on the strength of its analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation, earnings, dividends, risk and institutional ownership.

Risk and Volatility

First Solar has a beta of 1.99, indicating that its stock price is 99% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, First Solar’s rivals have a beta of 1.64, indicating that their average stock price is 64% more volatile than the S&P 500.


This table compares First Solar and its rivals’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
First Solar -14.70% 8.07% 6.30%
First Solar Competitors -17.50% -165.78% -4.36%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares First Solar and its rivals gross revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue NetIncome Price/Earnings Ratio
First Solar $2.95 billion -$357.96 million -14.06
First Solar Competitors $1.32 billion -$58.64 million 0.51

First Solar has higher revenue, but lower earnings than its rivals. First Solar is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than its rivals, indicating that it is currently more affordable than other companies in its industry.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

53.2% of First Solar shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 39.5% of shares of all “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies are owned by institutional investors. 0.6% of First Solar shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 16.2% of shares of all “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock will outperform the market over the long term.

Analyst Recommendations

This is a summary of recent ratings and target prices for First Solar and its rivals, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
First Solar 1 10 9 0 2.40
First Solar Competitors 177 600 903 58 2.48

First Solar currently has a consensus target price of $46.72, suggesting a potential downside of 24.15%. As a group, “Photovoltaic Solar Systems & Equipment” companies have a potential downside of 8.33%. Given First Solar’s rivals stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, analysts clearly believe First Solar has less favorable growth aspects than its rivals.


First Solar beats its rivals on 7 of the 13 factors compared.

About First Solar

First Solar, Inc. is a provider of photovoltaic (PV) solar energy solutions. The Company designs, manufactures and sells PV solar modules with a thin-film semiconductor technology. The Company also develops, designs, constructs and sells PV solar power systems that primarily use the modules it manufactures. It operates through two segments: components and systems. The components segment is engaged in the design, manufacture and sale of cadmium telluride (CdTe) solar modules, which convert sunlight into electricity. The systems segment includes the development, construction, operation and maintenance of PV solar power systems, which primarily use its solar modules. In addition, the Company provides operations and maintenance (O&M) services to system owners that use solar modules manufactured by it or by third-party manufacturers. The Company’s solar modules had an average rated power per module of approximately 114 watts, as of December 31, 2016.

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